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Denver Murder in the Second Degree or Manslaughter? Police Charged After Killing 6-Year-Old

Posted by Unknown | Nov 23, 2015 | 0 Comments

Idon't know if you heard, but two police officers were charged after shooting a 6-year-old boy. Though it's unclear why the shots were fired at the boy's father, there were many and they led to the boy's death. The boy was buckled into the front seat of the vehicle when he was shot twice. The officers were shooting at the father, who was suspected of a crime. However, there was no evidence to prove the officers knew the boy was in the car. As a result of this situation, the two police officers have been charged with Murder in the Second Degree and Attempted Second Degree Murder.

Murder in the Second Degree in Denver, Colorado and How It's Charged

To be charged with Second Degree Murder / Homicide, C.R.S. 18-3-103, in Colorado, a person must knowingly cause the death of a person. 2nd Degree Murder is normally charged as a class 2 felony in Douglas and Adams County, but it's a class 3 felony if:

“the act causing the death was performed upon a sudden heat of passion, caused by a serious and highly provoking act of the intended victim, affecting the defendant sufficiently to excite an irresistible passion in a reasonable person; but, if between the provocation and the killing there is an interval sufficient for the voice of reason and humanity to be heard, the killing is a class 2 felony.”

There was no evidence in this news story the two officers knew the child was in the car at the time they shot at the car. That makes me think Second Degree Murder charges don't really fit the crime. The officers would have to “knowingly cause the death of a person”, to be convicted. In general, police officers are trained not to shoot at a vehicle whenever they know a child is present. That makes me question why these officers would still choose to shoot, knowing the child was present. It doesn't seem reasonable. If these officers didn't knowingly cause the boy's death, a crime similar to Murder in the 2nd Degree is Manslaughter. This crime seems more applicable.

Facing charges of Manslaughter?

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What is Manslaughter in Arapahoe County?

Manslaughter, C.R.S. 18-3-104, is charged in Arapahoe and Jefferson County, and across Colorado whenever a person:


Recklessly causes the death of another person


Intentionally causes or aids another person to commit suicide

A class 4 felony in Colorado, Manslaughter charges are filed whenever someone is acting recklessly. According to C.R.S. 18-1-501(8), a person acts recklessly when he consciously disregards a substantial and unjustifiable risk that a result will occur or that a circumstance exists. In the officers' case (where no evidence proves they knew the boy was in the car) an Arapahoe County District Attorney would still have a hard time proving they recklessly caused his death.

If facing charges of Murder in the Second Degree, contact our criminal attorneys today.

Deadly Force Used by Police in Colorado

Deadly physical force means force, the intended, natural, and probable consequence of which is to produce death, and which does, in fact, produce death, C.R.S. 18-1-901. In the case of these two officers, it doesn't seem they felt in danger before deciding to shoot. But, in many cases in Colorado, police officers are able to use deadly physical force if they feel they're in danger, C.R.S. 18-1-707(2)(a).

Charged with Murder / Manslaughter in Denver? Hire a Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you've been charged with Murder in the Second Degree or Manslaughter in Denver, contact one of our aggressive criminal defense attorneys immediately. Both of these criminal charges can weigh heavily on the accused. Accusations of a crime can affect you, your family and your future. Act fast – set up a free initial consultation with us today.

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If you or a loved one has been accused or charged with Murder or Manslaughter in Colorado, be smart, exercise your right to remain silent and contact the best criminal defense attorneys at the O'Malley Law Office for a free consultation at 303-830-0880. Together, we can protect your future.Request a Free Consultation

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If you or a loved one is facing criminal charges in the Denver area, be smart, exercise your right to remain silent, and contact the top criminal defense lawyers at Sawyer Legal Group, LLC at 303-830-0880. Together, we can protect your future. Request a Free Consultation